Join Our #SWVBC Discussion with Author Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays

The Mira Costa Library Club is delighted to serve as host for this month’s “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” online book discussion. We will be discussing All Our Yesterdays. Here’s what I wrote about the book in my Goodreads summary after I finished last summer:

I really, really loved this book. I loved the time travel part and how it made me puzzle out how all that works. I loved gradually discovering how characters from one time and another are connected to each other. I loved the suspense. And I loved the romance.

I am especially excited that Christin Terrill, the author, has agreed to join us! If you are still a doubter as to the value of Twitter, please note that I was able to connect with her and extend the invitation via Twitter.

Many thanks, Christin, for agreeing to join us in our online Google + hangout! All the students and the librarians in the participating clubs are so jazzed that we will have the chance to talk to her live. All Mira Costa students are invited to join our club for the discussion in the library lunch room at 3 PM on Wednesday, and we also welcome any remote remote participants who would like to participate as well. The event will be viewable live by anyone at this link. If you want to join the Hangout room as a participant, please email me. Here’s a map of our current network of library clubs, created for us by Cathy Jo Nelson, Librarian at Dorman HS, in Roebuck, SC:


Join TLC: The Library Club and Our #SWVBC

Do you like to read? Do you enjoy discussing books with others? Would you like to contribute a little time and ideas to library program? Then, please consider joining TLC: The Library Club. TLC will be having its first organizational meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 18, during lunch. And, the library club isn’t just an ordinary club; we are also a “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” or #SWVBC on Twitter. Last year, we formed a partnership with several school library clubs from across the country, and have been having monthly online discussions with our partner clubs in addition to our live meetings at Costa.

Our first virtual discussion will be on October 17. We will be reading and discussing Tilt by Ellen Hopkins, AND we are honored that Author Ellen Hopkins herself is joining us! So, join in the fun; join TLC: The Library Club.


#SWVBC to Discuss Beauty Queens

Somewhat Virtual Book Club Map

On Wednesday, TLC: The Library Club is joining our cross-country group of other library book clubs in a “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” discussion of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens.

This will be our fifth virtual book discussion. We have tried two different software platforms, Google + Hangouts and Skype, for previous meetings, and had both successes and challenges with them. Unfortunately, my aging computer has frozen at times, and, last time while we were discussing John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, the Skype options disappeared on us so we could neither control the mic nor read or write in the chat box! While problems like these are frustrating, they also offer us a real-world lesson in the opportunities and challenges of communicating online. For Wednesday’s discussion, we will be using Blackboard Collaborate, software I use regularly for California School Library Association Board business meetings and for webinars I have attended, and find to be very reliable. I’m optimistic that, with my brand new Mac Air and Blackboard, we will have good communication throughout our session. I am confident that Bray’s satirical book will inspire a lively discussion and the opportunity to explore parallels with one of our school curriculum novels, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies as well as many contemporary issues. Check out this preview of the book. Our club members invite any interested guests to join us at 3 PM on Wednesday. And, of course, we’ll have refreshments!

I have posted a map of the club before. If you compare the two, you will see that I have updated it since we have added two new members – Cathy Jo Nelson’s Domain HS in  South Carolina and Debbie Bobolin’s James Caldwell HS in New Jersey. Welcome! They join our “founding members” at Joyce Valenza’s Springfield Township HS Library in Pennsylvania, Shannon Miller’s Van Meter Community School in Iowa, Michelle Lahtala’s New Canaan HS in Connecticut, and Colette Cassinelli’s La Salle Catholic College Prep in Oregon. I left Amy Lott’s Deer Park MS in Texas on the map in case her group is able to rejoin us in the future.

P.S. If the map looks squished in on your screen, click on it to view it in a new window in better proportion.


Connecting Our Library Club Across the Country

virtual book club map & books

One great activity that has been occurring at the Mira Costa Library has been the growth and development of TLC: The Library Club, now in its second year. Last school year when we established the club, it was primarily a group to support library programs, and the club met every other week. I very much appreciated the help the students offered with our D.J. MacHale author visit, with library displays, contests, PR, and more. They also conducted a very successful book drive and sent the collected books to a shelter. This Fall, the students took the initiative to expand our club by meeting weekly and incorporating more discussions of books in addition to supporting the library.

Then, in October, we had the opportunity to expand our club beyond our school when I responded to a generous open invitation from Joyce Valenza, Teacher Librarian at Springfield Township High School in Pennsylvania, to join several school library clubs in a virtual book club discussion of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games. Despite some technical difficulties with my computer and the challenges of time differences, our club members were able to join the group for approximately a half hour of a lively discussion of this engaging book. And, they are looking forward to “Round 2,” when we have revisit Hunger Games after the movie comes out in March.

photo of TLC Members discussing Blood and Chocolate
TLC Members discussing Blood and Chocolate

On December 1, we had our second virtual book discussion about Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. Two of the other schools – Springfield Township HS in Pennsylvania, led by Teacher Librarian Joyce Valenza, and Van Meter in Iowa, led by Shannon Miller –  were able to attend this session, and one student who was ill even Skyped in from home. The students enjoyed a very lively debate about the different characters and clearly had very divergent views about how sympathetic they were. I was so impressed by their insightful comments and their ability to disagree with each other while always remaining polite and considerate.

Photo of TLC Members discussing Blood and Chocolate

We are now reading Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret and plan to compare it to the new Hugo film in January.

To bring the groups together, we have been experimenting with different platforms, including Google + Hangouts and Skype. These are some of the tools that we teacher librarians have been using for webinars, virtual conferences, and professional organization meetings. Communicating across the miles in this way has also offered our students an opportunity to practice virtual meeting skills they are sure to be using in many other contexts.

I know that I have been enjoying the opportunity to communicate across the miles – and connect and plan with talented Teacher Librarians Joyce Valenza, Shannon Miller, Michelle Luhtala, Colette Cassinelli, and Amy Lott – at least as much as our students.